Love is in the Air

I realize this post is coming out late today, but if I get it out before midnight then I’ve kept my end of the bargain! 🙂 I usually try to write the day (or at the very latest, night) before, but yesterday was a pretty full day for me. Since the day is almost done, I won’t keep you long.

After spending the day yesterday sitting in a sea of my daddy’s famed baseball caps, I stopped to prepare for an evening out. Last night, I got all “dolled” up to attend a special pastor’s appreciation banquet with my honey. The attire was formal, and I was SO excited! I’d found the perfect dress, and I couldn’t wait for him to see it. Would you believe I’ve never been to a formal event (outside participating in a debutante cotillion my junior year in high school)? It’s true! That means I’ve definitely never been to a formal event with a DATE! When my sweetheart learned this little fact about me he went all out. We looked quite nice! He says I’m biased, so I’ll let you be the judge. 🙂

Anyhoo, as I reminisce on the lovely weekend and contemplate what to write about today, love is the winner by a landslide.

Confession: It is only by God’s grace that I’m alive to share the stories from seasons of my life where I sorely lacked wisdom in the area of love. If you think “alive to share” is an exaggerated phrase…well, just keep hanging out with me here… And again, you can be the judge. 🙂

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve learned (mostly by trials and MANY errors) to rely on scripture’s description of love to patiently feed me the wisdom I so desperately need in this area, especially when it comes to my interaction with our beloved opposite sex. One of the most amazing lessons I’ve learned thus far is that, if you are a willing and attentive student, love will teach you all you need to know about itself.

So tonight (and please note I finished this post BEFORE my midnight curfew, lol) or tomorrow or whenever you read this, if you are so inclined, I invite you to begin studying of love  in the same place I began:

1 Corinthians 13:1-8 NASB – If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2  – If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3  – And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. 4 – Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 – does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 – does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 – bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 – Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.

Love completely,

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Psalms 136

It’s 11:44pm on Friday night, and I am just settling down for the evening. Tonight I will snuggle into my childhood twin bed and probably (hopefully) sleep like a baby. Although being home isn’t the same without my father here, there is still no place like home.

Thursday, my devotion time included the reading of Psalms 136. This passage of scripture reads like a holy resume, filled with history of God’s goodness, grace, and love and encouragement to give Him thanks.

So, today (because it’s now officially Saturday) I’m sure you have a busy day planned. However, I hope you’ll find a few moments to steal away, slip into the pages of God’s word and read these 26 simple verses. And if you do, I pray those verses will bless your day the way they blessed mine.

See you tomorrow!

Completely SLEEPY,

If you enjoyed the post you just read and you know other women who may enjoy it too, please share it with them. Click the “share” button below to send the post via email, post it on your facebook page or send it out in a tweet. A tweet would sure be sweet! :-) Invite your girlfriends to join Full Circle Women’s Fellowship on Facebook and to subscribe to the Wisdom Virtue and Rubies (soon to be Completely You!) blog. I would love to meet them!

M is for Marriage

I believe in marriage.

There! I said it! I believe in marriage as God originally designed – one man, one woman, till death. I believe that healthy families are built on the foundation of healthy marriages. These healthy families then become the pillars of healthy communities. The payoff is great and potentially endless. Healthy marriages, healthy families, healthy communities – this must mean that there are some healthy individuals in the mix somewhere. Wouldn’t you agree?

As an unmarried woman in my latEST (and I do mean as late as they can get) thirties, I used to be afraid to talk about my reverence for matrimony outside my circle of close friends, family, or people who knew a little more about me than just my name. Why? Well, let’s face it. Unfortunately, the first assumption people have when they hear a single woman talk too much about marriage is certainly not that she’s an advocate or supporter who may see a bigger picture. Instead the label applied to her is something closer to, oh let’s say, DESPERATE. You’re laughing because if you’re an unmarried woman (especially if you’re in your latER or latEST thirties, yourself), you KNOW I’m telling the truth.

Well, at Completely You, I plan to do a lot of talking about marriage, because it’s my blog and I can talk about marriage if I want to (That doesn’t sing quite as well as the “It’s my party…” song, but you get the idea).

There are a gazillion reasons why a woman may want to be married. Sure, there are some women whose starry eyes can’t see beyond some bling to blind their girlfriends and their dream of a wedding of Kardashian caliber. Others are simply afraid to be alone. Most people – men and women – would prefer not to travel life’s journey alone. I, too, am one of the, but marriage always meant a little something extra to me.

These days my heart grieves as I watch one marriage after another disintegrate; for I know that it’s only by God’s grace that I am not included in that number. I’ve personally spoken to a number of women who have walked the path of a broken marriage. As they adjust their rear view mirrors to take a look back, they each can see and admit they had no idea who they were (their identity, who God created them to be) before they said “I do”. No one told them it was important.

I can’t say that anyone told me either, and trials and errors led to a trail of unhealthy relationships. So, I began to wonder. If you don’t know who you are, how will you know you’re saying “yes” to the right person, to God’s best for you? As I reviewed my relational track record it all became clear. The mistakes I made were evidence that there was no way I could know who was good for me until I had a clear understanding of who I was created to be. Until then, the power and influence of the healthy marriage I so reverenced would continue to elude me and another potential relational disaster would be on the prowl.

I must stop here, even though I know this post is incomplete. I guess that means there will be more to come on this subject. In the meantime, here are a few questions for my unmarried girlfriends out there:

What do you believe about marriage? You don’t have to tell me, but think about it.

Do you know enough about the woman God created you to be to recognize the man He created for you?

What kind of relationship (if any) are you in now?  Is it one that reflects a complete you or an incomplete you?

Completely ME,

 

Only One

If you could teach only one life lesson to the next generation, what lesson would you teach?

If you could abolish only one form of evil from the earth, what evil would you abolish?

If you could have only one career when you “grow up”, what career would you have?

If you could use only one talent/gift for the rest of your life, to leverage for the good of mankind and to be profitable, what talent would you use?

If today, you were allotted only one prayer, what prayer would you pray?

If you had to choose to serve only one group of people (children, adults, senior citizens, men, women, boys, girls, domestic violence victims, breast cancer survivors, children with a specific illness, single parents, immigrants etc), what group of people would you choose?

If you knew that when you left this world you would be remembered for only one thing, for what one thing would you want to be remembered?

Our lives are filled with choices. We are rarely limited to choosing only one of anything. However, consciously choosing to narrow our focus will undoubtedly lead to a more productive, more meaningful existence and allow us to make a far great impact on the world around us.

So, what would be a few of your “only ones”?

Completely ME,

If you enjoyed the post you just read and you know other women who may enjoy it too, please share it with them. Click the “share” button below to send the post via email, post it on your facebook page or send it out in a tweet. A tweet would sure be sweet! :-) Invite your girlfriends to join Full Circle Women’s Fellowship on Facebook and to subscribe to the Wisdom Virtue and Rubies (soon to be Completely You!) blog. I would love to meet them!

C What I’m Reading

It’s hump day! It’s also day 3 of my Be Completely You writing challenge, and I’m trying NOT to keep asking myself whose bright idea this was anyway. It’s actually already been good for me. I’m forced to not only think about writing but write SOMETHING, no matter how simple, each day. I sure hope you aren’t bored yet. 🙂

Over the summer I told you about a book I decided I should read. Remember, I was talking about the whole trying to eat right and exercise thing. I even told you about the snazzy pair of running shoes I bought to support my healthy efforts.

Going places...

Well, I’m proud to say I’ve put a few miles on those shoes (even trying to do a little, I do mean little, running every now and again), and I FINALLY (3 whole months later) purchased that book I told you about. Made to Crave, by Lysa Terkeurst

Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst

Better late than never, right? Besides, I was waiting for some of you to join me for this read, but sadly there were no takers.:-(

But I digress…

Last week, I read this blog post by a young lady named Sarah. In this post Sarah shares her story about how the book has really helped her to begin putting food in its rightful place in her life and set her on the road to becoming a healthier woman. It’s a great testimony! As a matter of fact it was so inspiring that I ventured out to my local Barnes and Noble (R.I.P. Borders!), braving the lunch rush hour, to finally snag my copy of the book.

I’ve been reading the book (as evidenced by the paper clip you see in the picture 🙂 ) for the past week, and I’m really enjoying it. Monday through Friday, I spend an hour each day reading a chapter then recording my responses to the Personal Reflections questions in a journal. Usually my Made to Crave time is sandwiched (no food pun intended) between my time in the gym and dinner. I never thought about it before now, but how apropos, don’t you think?

I believe what’s most exciting to me about this book is that, just as I suspected, the content can easily reach far outside the box of food cravings. The truths written in this book can easily be used to teach about so many other cravings that lure us into unhealthy places and distance us from the presence of God. It’s really quite refreshing! I strongly recommend you check it out, maybe even consider it for a small group or book club discussion. I know I am.

If you had to confess one craving (food or otherwise) that teases and tempts your appetite, what would it be?

Completely ME,


If you enjoyed the post you just read and you know other women who may enjoy it too, please share it with them. Click the “share” button below to send the post via email, post it on your facebook page or send it out in a tweet. A tweet would sure be sweet! :-) Invite your girlfriends to join Full Circle Women’s Fellowship on Facebook and to subscribe to the Wisdom Virtue and Rubies (soon to be Completely You!) blog. I would love to meet them!

Be Encouraged

Hello, my friends! Happy Tuesday!

I tried desperately to create something meaningful for the letter E. Words like everything and energy and names like Eve and Esther were tossed about in my mind like raffle tickets in an over-sized drum. The spinning in my head only served to make me a bit discouraged and probably a little dizzy, too.

Then I heard the phrase “be encouraged”. Those two words are the title to an old gospel song I used to love. After all these years, hearing the song still gives me a warm fuzzy feeling and a melodic assurance that God is in control. Let me tell you, I need both of those these days. It may be a long shot, but I’m guessing that if I need to be encouraged someone else out there may need to be encouraged, as well.

So instead of stressing over the fact that I can’t spring forth witty words and fancy phrases today, I’m going to go with what seemed to come to mind naturally.

Be encouraged today, my friends. See you tomorrow.

Completely me,

 

Becoming

Happy Monday, my friends! 🙂

Confession:  This writing challenge is already proving to be quite a – well – CHALLENGE. I’ve been contemplating the content for this post since I announced the Be Completely You writing challenge the last time we were together. Grant it, I know I need an extra push these days, but wow. If I had a dollar for each time I thought, “really Monica? A writing challenge? What were you thinking”, I know I’d at least have enough for a new fall wardrobe. I started to go back to the A to Z blog challenge from April and sneak in my B post from back then, but I figured that wouldn’t be right. Or would it? Ok, ok, no it wouldn’t be right. 🙂

B is not an easy letter, you know. I guess I could write about a beach, a banana, or barely being able to write these days. The first is where I wish I were right about now. The second is usually my mid-day fruit snack. The latter is just the God’s honest truth. That truth, however, is a bummer and would probably be quite boring to write about (see, two more B words…lol).

Ok, Monica, you’re sounding delirious now. FOCUS!

Where was I? Ahh, yes – the letter B, a writing challenge, and a beautiful new blog home (two more B words. I could just stop here, couldn’t I?). As I continued to think on these three things I realized the obvious place to get this party started was glaring at me from the first word in the title of my self-imposed writing boot camp.

Be. Or in this case, let’s chat about becoming

One day, a few years ago, I said to one of my girlfriends, “I’m sensing a woman.” I’m sure she thought I was crazy at first, but praise God she kept listening. I told her how occasionally I felt the presence of a woman around me, and she was a woman I knew. I even found a journal entry from 4 years ago (9/22/07, to be exact) where I wrote about her. This woman was grounded, poised, confident, and secure. Who was she? I’m glad you asked. She was the me God created me to be. She was, also, the me I had yet to become.

But I was getting close.

She had my personality, my heart, and my spirit. She also had a few things I was still working on. She had a confidence that seemed to only play hide and seek with me. She was settled with who she was, from whence she’d come, where she was and where she wanted to go. I began to sense her presence often. Looking back, I am sure the Lord was giving me a vision of the woman He designed me to be. So I began to chase after her, determined that one day I would become her.

Dictionary.com provides the following as one of two noun definitions for the word becoming:

4. Aristotelianism . any change involving realization of potentialities, as a movement from the lower level of potentiality to the higher level of actuality.

Now, I’m no follower of Greek philosophers, but this definition seems to tie a pretty little bow on what I’m trying to say here. And this is a large part of what the new Completely You blog home will be all about – one woman’s journey of moving from the lower level of her potential to the higher level of actually becoming the woman God designed. I’m praying my journey will intersect with yours, and maybe we’ll continue the process of becoming together.

Where are you in your process of becoming the woman God designed and intended for you to be?

Completely me,

If you enjoyed the post you just read and you know other women who may enjoy it too, please share it with them. Click the “share” button below to send the post via email, post it on your facebook page or send it out in a tweet. A tweet would sure be sweet! 🙂 Invite your girlfriends to join Full Circle Women’s Fellowship on Facebook and to subscribe to the Wisdom Virtue and Rubies (soon to be Completely You!) blog. I would love to meet them!

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